Category Archives: Personal Retreats

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The Porter: At the Threshold of Hospitality

The Porter: At the Threshold of Hospitality In the Rule, St. Benedict commends the role of the porter, the person stationed at the front door and responsible for greeting visitors to the Monastery.  Whenever a visitor showed up, the porter was supposed to shout, “Thanks be to God!” or “Your blessing please!” (RB 66). The…
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Lectio Divina: A Word for Me

Lectio Divina: A Word for Me Once upon a time there were two sisters, Mary and Martha, who had Jesus as a dinner guest. Martha, a first century ancestor of Martha Stewart, created an impeccable meal. Mary created—well, Mary was a first century ancestor of couch potatoes and just sat at Jesus’ feet. Isn’t that how the story…
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Lectio Divina Transformation

Lectio Divina Transformation “CONSIDER THE RAVENS; THEY DO NOT SOW OR REAP, YET YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER FEEDS THEM.” What was on my mind at that time was scarcity.  Fear.  Economic insecurity.  In 2017, I lost my 27-year job as an office manager for an engineering consulting business when my former employer suddenly died.  I was…
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Time to Pause, Move Toward the Center

Time to Pause We have a labyrinth in our backyard which, weather permitting, is where I do my walking prayer every day.  One day, while I was preparing for a group to come and join us for a walk, my husband caught this photo of our dog, Bella, sitting in one of her contemplative postures…
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Unpredictable: The Invitation to Come Home

Unpredictable: The Invitation to Come Home My summer had surprising experiences with several unpredictable happenings. My body was telling me in no uncertain terms to pay attention to my aging process. More than one round of issues with blood pressure and wellness told me that I needed to let go of a few events I…
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We Dare To Hope (Part 2 of 2)

We Dare to Hope (Part 2 of 2) In part one of this reflection, I wrote that we much believe our collective Christian narrative, and then we need to tell our story.  Here let me say a few things about what sharing our Christian hope might look like. Take Opportunities First, we take the opportunities…
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Desire, Perseverance, Making Our Way: Reflections from the Monastic Retreat

Desire, Perseverance, Making Our Way Reflections from the Monastic Retreat On a Sunday evening in mid-June, the annual Community Retreat began at St. Paul’s Monastery.  The Sisters assembled in their usual places in the glowing Chapel, lit by the summer sky in the clerestory windows, joined by several Oblates, Benedictine Associates, and me.  The white…
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Stability: The Benedictine Value of Locatedness

Stability The Benedictine Value of Locatedness An old saying touts, “Location, location, location” as the key to property value. Benedictine spirituality also values location, but not the way your real estate broker might. A prominent Benedictine principle is stability, or staying put within a particular community rather than continually traveling on to somewhere else. For…
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Retreat: Making Time to Remember Our Belovedness

Retreat Making Time to Remember Our Belovedness Life’s challenges have a way of growing up all around us. I sometimes picture myself standing in a field surrounded by weeds I cannot see over. I do my best to push them out of the way, look around them, and pretend like they are not there. But,…
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Sabbath: Well-being, Not Endless Work

While modern Christians do not often practice Sabbath as regularly as our Jewish brothers and sisters, we still need times when we set aside our task lists to remember that we are created in the image of a God who rested after amazing acts of creation. We need times to step outside of our regular work routines and remember that we are “human beings,” not just “human doings.” These times remind us we are beloved just as we are and that God’s love does not depend on us producing or creating or doing anything.
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